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Volunteer stops in Walsall on walk to all Samaritans branches in UK

By Jordan Reynolds | Walsall | News | Published:

A Samaritans volunteer stopped at the Walsall branch of the charity as part of his mission to walk to all 201 sites in the country.

David Matthews at Walsall Samaritans

David Matthews has already raised more than £6,000 in an online fundraising page with what he has called "The Listening Walk".

He said: "I have been a Samaritan in the Doncaster Branch for the last 10 years and though I now reside in the Highlands of Scotland, I still come back to Doncaster regularly to work a shift whilst visiting friends and family.

"As a Samaritan I realised very quickly that the person giving themselves a dressing down might one day be the person having suicidal thoughts. I want to give that person someone to talk to, wherever they are on the emotional path.

"Over the past five years I had been thinking about a project to raise awareness of what The Samaritans is and does. To let people know that there is someone there for you when you need a listening ear.

David Matthews with branch leadership team Caroline Turner and Jayne Westley

"The Listening Walk is about raising awareness of The Samaritans, but that’s only part of the story. What about all the other charities, organisations and services out there that are reaching out to people. The smaller local services that are vital and are there for people when they are desperate.

"The network of Samaritans branches is supported by an army of volunteers who all ensure that if you need a listening ear, there is someone there for you."

Steve Gifford, from Samaritans, said: "David is walking 6,000 miles in total to raise awareness of Samaritans and the work we do.

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"Last year we took 5.4 million calls from people in crisis, we took a call every six seconds.

"It costs £5 for each call that we take.

"All branches are self-funded so it's a very costly service, the money David raises will really help.

"Apparently he's got through five pairs of walking shoes already." For more information, or to donate, visit thelisteningwalk.co.uk/ or https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DavidMatthews

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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